The SOMM Journal

February / March 2017

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22 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2017 Rafael Sanchez Wine Director, Addison in Del Mar, CA What are some unique challenges of staying on top of a large, diverse list such as the one at Addison? We're always striving to maintain balance in Addison's wine list. We look to source not just newly released wines, but also well-stored older vintages to provide a variety of wines on our list. So you'll find some bottles that are best enjoyed in a youthful stage, and others—likely from classic wine regions— that need at least a few years to shine. It paves the way for a greater degree of creativity from our wine team with respect to wine pairings. Are there any offerings that might surprise a guest when they settle down to look at your list? We are very excited about Madeira and the wines from South Africa. We've been featuring a dry Chenin Blanc [from South Africa] on the tasting menu and guests frequently remark that they have never experienced a wine with that kind of texture and richness. You don't typically look toward South Africa for a wine in that style! The Madeiras are great because we offer some older vintages dating back to 1865, the year marking the end of the American Civil War. Brian Mitchell Corporate Beverage Director, MAX Restaurant Group in Hartford, CT With 13 concepts under the MAX Restaurant Group, what is the underlying philosophy that guides your wine program? I like to pay for production, not marketing. I prefer to buy wines from suppliers that farm their land and make their wine. At the very least, I want producers who are not spend - ing huge dollars on the mar keting of the wine but rather investing resources in their land, their employees and their winemaking. This of course has to be balanced against the recognized brands, which many guests are comfortable with, but we do a good job at offering alternatives to what I call "default wines." What was the last wine that really made an impression on you? L'Ecole No 41 2014 Chenin Blanc from Walla Walla: a beautiful expression of this varietal, which no one expects from this region. And Pied à Terre 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County: a small-production wine owned by a fellow somm from NYC. Edgy style of cab that is not overly polished—a great food wine. Q: Q: If you are a mixologist or wine professional interested in being featured here or want more information on Chef's Roll and Somm's List, please email We've partnered with Chef's Roll & Somm's List, the global culi- nary and wine professional networks, to learn more about bever- age experts from across the country. Q: Q: Q: PHOTO: SERGEY KOLIVAYKO/FIELD GUIDE PHOTO: WINTER CAPLANSON Lindsay Pomeroy Owner & Chief Wine Educator at Wine Smarties in San Diego, CA You are the Founder & Chief Wine Educator of Wine Smarties, offering an array of classes from Wine 101 to WSET Level 2. Where did the idea come from? I started to really learn about wine at a retail job in San Diego. I felt that to be someone legitimate in recommending wines I should have some formal certification, so in 2005 I got the CSW certification with the Society of Wine Educators. While interacting with customers, I found a niche group of people wanting to learn more about wine. This sparked the idea for Wine Smarties, which I later founded in 2006, as it combined my knowledge of teaching and my love for wine. You are currently completing the Master of Wine certification. What can you tell us about your journey so far? In 2011 I started the WSET Level 4 Diploma, which took two years to complete; I then applied to the Master of Wine in 2013. I've been in the study of wine now for about ten years. It's like getting a Ph.D.; the number of hours I have put towards it—even though rewarding—has been exhausting. With ten years of studying, 15 exams and blind tast - ing every day for four years, my palate has dramatically improved. I've been able to learn how to assess the quality of wine and understand its textural components. I can taste cheap wine from good-quality wine, just on texture. PHOTO: JOSUE CASTRO Q: Q:

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